How to deal with less than ideal marks
Now that exam results have been released, it is inevitable that some of us are disappointed with our marks. That shouldn’t be an excuse us to give up, but rather motivate us to do better next time.
The best piece of advice I have ever gotten was from one of my teachers back in year 12, she said that when we get a bad mark we should set aside some time to be upset but after that there is no excuse to go back and dwell on it. Every new assessment is a clean slate.
It is important to remember that marks don’t make you a good or bad person; rather how you react to them shows your character. What is the use of getting 3 HD’s only to pass everything next semester because you were too comfortable? Alternatively, what is the point of getting 3 P’s and then failing the next semester because you felt defeated? Instead reflect on your mistakes and identify some weak points. Work on these and your marks will definitely improve.
It is key to be realistic with yourself when you reflect on weak points, did you waste too much time during semester? Could you have showed up to more lectures? Unless you really scrutinize yourself truthfully it is difficult to expect any improvement.
Setting some goals is the next logical step after reflection. Don’t have too many or it will be difficult to focus on them. Between 2-4 larger goals are the most productive. Remember to have at least one short-term and long-term goal.
Sometimes the reasons our grades are less than ideal are because of external circumstances out of our control such as a sick parent or an illness. If you are going through a hard time, the university counselor may be an avenue for support. Additionally, talking to friends is helpful. Alternatively if you have life issues or cannot manage to hold down a job and also study why not explore night class options, studying part time or even deferring one of your subjects to another semester?
If you have failed a subject, remember it is not the end of the world. Many people have failed a subject and life has gone on. However, if you fail two or more subjects there may be university procedures such as probation imposed on you. Make sure you are familiar with the process. This information can be found at the your university website.
One of the biggest fears of a law student is that because of a bad mark or two, they will never get a job. This can be very misleading as recruiters do appreciate improvement and won’t always dwell on a few bad marks.
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